What: Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet—balcony scene pas de deux
Who: Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev
Why: Despite a 19-year age gap between them, Fonteyn and Nureyev created one of the most magical partnerships in ballet history. The couple’s natural chemistry shines through in the sweeping lifts and passionate embraces in MacMillan’s exquisite ballet.
Hee Seo and Alexandre Hammoudi in Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of American Ballet Theatre.
What: Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux
Who: Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall
Why: This haunting duet, originally created for Whelan and her longtime New York City Ballet partner Jock Soto, is contemporary ballet at its best. Dressed in a pink leotard, Whelan bends effortlessly, softly gesturing and intertwining with the strong and attentive Hall.
Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall in After the Rain pas de deux. Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy of New York City Ballet
What: Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun
Who: Tanaquil Le Clercq and Jacques d’Amboise
Why: A remake of the Nijinksy classic, this work depicts a chance encounter between two young dancers in a studio and explores the ideas of attraction and narcissism. The two dancers can’t help stealing glances in the mirror as they dance a sensual pas de deux.
Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild in Afternoon of a Faun. Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy of New York City Ballet